LMS Question - Cornerstone vs SharePoint

Mar 30, 2012

I wanted to reach out  and see if anyone has any experience with SharePoint LMS. I have used SharePoint for years, and its good for some things, but, its clunky for a lot of things. I also have lots of experience with good, and bad LMS's. We recently went through a big review cycle and would LOVE to get Cornerstone OnDemand for our LMS. However, we're getting some pushback from IT saying they can make SharePoint our LMS. My gut tells me this is going to suck big time, but, am hoping to be able to speak intelligently about why that is a bad idea. Any insight?

18 Replies
Eric Nalian

Hi Bethre,

Is SharePoint able to meet all of your training needs? Is IT pushing this because it would ease their burden on software's to maintain?  Is IT going to be the administrator for the LMS once it is live, or is that going to fall on you (or an LMS Admin)?

Creating a feature list and seeing if SharePoint can meet/exceed these is where I would start.  We looked at Cornerstone for our LMS, and we currently use SharePoint for some Intranet functions.  Cornerstone is flashy and exciting, and from a user perspective, I would rather look at Cornerstone than SharePoint.

Rebecca Hay

Hi Bethre,

We are going almost the identical thing here. IT wants "everything" in SharePoint and thought that we should just load our content into it. For circumstances outside of our control, we were already in the early phases of looking for a new LMS. Cornerstone is one of our top contenders.

From the research that we have done, SharePoint does not provide the functionality of an LMS. We also looked at a few LMS providers that billed themselves as SharePoint LMS's. Less than impressed with any of them as well. Maybe at some point in the future, there may be an option that adds a good LMS function to SharePoint, but so far I don't think it exists.

Our top contenders for a new LMS both allow for deep links which can be embedded into SharePoint and single sign on integration with SharePoint. So from the learner's perspective, the transition between SharePoint content and the LMS content would be seamless.

Any feed back or update would be appreciated.  Thanks.

April Edmonds

One issue to consider is -- how your users login. We have a hosted external Moodle site, internal employee were complaining they had to have a separate login. Our firewall policies do not allow authenication outside the firewall to allow users to login with their network username and password. It became a real issue. So therefore, we ended up loading Moodle in-house for internal users. 

If you are using Sharepoint 2007 -- I would not advise using the Learning kit piece. I have heard the Learning Kit works better in Sharepoint 2010. 

Rich Johnstun

As a person who spends part of his time supporting SharePoint for a reasonably large group, you can build SharePoint into almost any type of data warehouse. Could a viable LMS be built on the SharePoint platform? Absolutely. Would I recommend it? I guess it would really depend on how many associates and how much content we are talking about. My initial gut reaction says, "don't do it". Our company is around 17K employees splashed across around 90 countries...too large of a footprint IMO to build and support a custom solution. 

I think the support piece is key. How will an IT organization continue to support this solution? As you mature, will they provide resources to mature the LMS as well? What about when you need to transition to the next version of SharePoint? Going with a more "out of the box" solution means that not only will you get a mature tool, but you'll also have the support that goes along with that. 

I don't have any experience with Cornerstone personally, but I've heard good things about it. 6 years ago we went from internally hosted and supported OnTrack to a hosted Plateau solution. Since Plateau has gone through multiple mergers (Plateau>SuccessFactors>SAP) we have been less happy with them as time has gone on and are now looking at possibly transitioning to the Oracle/Taleo solution. 

asif raja


I was looking for a quick interim LMS solution whilst i i researching for for a long term solution. As our intranet was already on SharePoint it made sense to have the SharePoint Learning Kit. the oucome is fantastic if you after the basics i.e delivering, tracking and monitoring. You dont need to be a techie to use but you do if you need a reporting tool. If you looking to outsource a sharepoint LMS then i strongly suggest you check out Kallidus. their accolades speak for themselves but what i really like about them is their inituitive  designs.

Padma Reddy

Hi there,

  I went through the same scenario about four years ago. I was pressured into using SharePoint from IT, and it became a complete disaster. We then bought Plateau and were satisfied, however with the SAP acquisition it all became a nightmare for support and upgrades-so we're migrating off as our contract is up. We just bought CyberU for Sales Force as a LMS for our sales, marketing & partner teams and everyone loves it. If we can get an integration with Box to CyberU, I'm planning to propose a pilot in the fall to make CyberU our organization's LMS. I absolutely suggest you look into CyberU.  


Katie Noblado

Hi -

All of these posts are really helpful. We are in the same position and shopping for a new LMS in our company.

Has anyone ever heard of ON24? They are a company that provides LMS solutions in a virtual environment. They seem relavent but I haven't heard from actual customers of theirs...any info would be appreciated!


Kristin Stephenson

We went through a similar thing about a year ago.  We even bought one LMS that integrated with SharePoint, and it was a huge mess.  We ended up with Inquisiq.  We were able to integrate Active Directory with Inquisiq for a single sign-on.  That makes it seamless to the user when going back and forth between SharePoint and the LMS.

Christopher Rousset

Hello all,

I would agree with most comments included in this discussion - out of the box, SharePoint is not an effective LMS. However, out of the box, SharePoint is not an effective Project management or contract management system either. There are solutions out on the market to transform SharePoint into a project management or contract management system.

The same is true for Learning Management  - different off-the-shelf solutions exist that transform your SharePoint environment into a full featured enterprise class Learning Management System.

The MS recommended and most used SharePoint based LMS is "SharePoint LMS" (www.elearningforce.com) - with such a solution you can leverage all the investments made in your SharePoint environment, including already established business processes,

For a lot of corporations having made significant investments in their SharePoint environment, a SharePoint based LMS such as SharePoint LMS makes SharePoint a compelling candidate to deliver LMS functionalities.

Tom Clearwaters

Like everyone else we are also looking at a new LMS system. We are a small non-profit health care organization so privacy and security are huge concerns. As such we eliminated any cloud-based solutions. Since we have SharePoint already we decided to see what we could get that integrated or fit with our current IT structure. We are currently trying out ShareKnowledge by Competentum. It is highly rated (#3 on the e-learning 24/7 blog) It seems to have a rich set of features but it does look like SharePoint. Since we are in the early stages of testing I don't have a lot of comments yet but compared to others I have used it seems good. I also found the SharePoint LMS by elearning force and it seems good as well. If anyone has any experiences with either of these I would appreciate hearing about them. Specifically, any experiences with publishing Storyline content.

Tom Clearwaters

I'm just following up on my experiences with ShareKnowledge. While some things are fairly straight forward, we are finding that there are a number of things which aren't that intuitive or user friendly. We also found some things which weren't included that we thought were necessary from a learning perspective. We are still testing but not as impressed as we were in the beginning.

We had a demo of SharePoint LMS by Elearningforce and thought it looked much more intuitive and had many of the features we are looking for. The catch is that in order to demo it we have to pay for it. It is not a huge cost, but from a non-profit perspective it could be. I'm wondering if anyone else might have experience with this system and be able to provide some feedback.

Eric Fickeisen

Hi I'm Eric From ShareKnowledge

Tom, can you be a bit more specific about your concerns regarding the features that were not intuitive and that were not included after your further research?

I would be happy to set up a short 20 minute web training session and answer your questions and walk through any issues you may be having.  We are always looking for feedback and input about how we can improve the user experience and out application in general.  

Tim Clifton

I know this thread is a little old but I wanted to reach out to the group here.  We have Sharepoint 2013 and we are looking at LMS's.  Our requirements are mapped out, we are a small organization and looking for the ability to map training to job roles.  Currently I have looked at Share Knowledge and talked with elearningforce (Sharepoint LMS partner).  Has anyone dealth with Lanteria?  Any thoughts regarding if you were starting from scratch what would you do differently.  Thank you!


Tim Clifton

Thanks for the message.  We have deferred the decision and also have needed to close the loop with other departments who are stakeholders in the decision.  The challenge we have found is that at least in my experience the way that these companies distinguish themselves from each other is through being scalable and portable to multiple kinds of devices but those aren't important factors for us which makes the decision difficult.  I think the key is to develop your requirements rigorously and then stick to them. My personal preference is to use a cloud based solution because that takes a lot of pressure off the IT department and in most cases you can take that data to another application if decide to switch.


Pradnya Maske

I am surprised there is no mention on Paradiso's Sharepoint solution. Paradiso's Sharepoint LMS is one of the best fit for any organization, ask me why>? Because may it be a fortune 500 companies or a small industry, it works well and doesnt break a sweat. It also can be fully customized to a particular brand. 
Even if you want to work on a different CMS or CRM it still is not a challenge. 

Here is a link which can get you complete information. 
Best LMS

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